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Gert's Dirt: April 4

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Even though we are still getting wintery weather, I want to think about spring things. We have had such a long, snowy, cold winter this year. We have even broken some records! When the warm sunshine hits, take some time to go through this spring maintenance checklist.

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Indoors

• Let’s start with windows: First clean out the sill and tracks using a vacuum or brush, then wash with vinegar or mild dish soap and water. Next, wash the windows, wash and replace screens. As you go, check that the calking is in good shape and the glazing is still intact.

• Check that you have fresh batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

• Change the furnace filters. Your furnace has been working harder than usual this winter and there will still be some chilly days and nights when it will be in use. Cleaning the filter can help with furnace efficiency and air quality in your home.

• Be sure your sump pump is working properly. No one wants a flooded basement during spring thaw!

• Wipe down the outside of your dehumidifier. Spray the inside with straight vinegar. Let it sit for several minutes, rinse it well with plain water and dry it.

• Wipe down the air conditioner. Wash or replace its filters.

Outdoors

• Clean out gutters and ensure downspouts are free- flowing.

• Check the outside faucet to make sure no damage has occurred from freezing. Check to see that the garden hose is free of cracks.

• Hose off cement patios and sidewalks

• Sweep the deck and check the structure for rot or damage before you have friends over for bar-b-q. Consider fresh stain or sealer.

• Wash the deck furniture. I use 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of water for this.

• Call a chimney sweep. This is an excellent time of year to get that done. There is no waiting and you will be all ready for next year. Close the damper for the summer. This will reduce odors in your home during those hot, humid summer days.

• Be sure the clothes dryer vent is open on the outside of the house, especially if it has been blocked by snow during the winter.

This will help your dryer to run efficiently.

• While safely on the ground, use binoculars to inspect your roof for damage. Look for missing or bare shingles or moss growth. Look for damaged flashing.

• Rake away debris from the inside corners around the house. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming.

• Inspect trees for weakened limbs and damage from heavy snow.

• Clean out flower beds and around shrubs.

• Tune up the lawn mower. Get the blade sharpened. Ensure that your trimmer has line on the spool and charge the battery if you have a cordless model.

Many of these suggestions may require professionals with proper knowledge and equipment. I like to use local businesses. I hope you do, too. Ask your neighbors and check the local papers to get ideas for who to call. You can always call Gertie’s with questions as well!

Donna Bellino is a Registered Nurse and owner of Gertie’s Cleaning and Home Service. I care for you, your health, and your home. Gertie’s: Naturally Clean!

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